Increasing Book Sales through Various Amazon Platforms
Jul13

Increasing Book Sales through Various Amazon Platforms

  Increasing Book Sales through Various Amazon Platforms Increasing book sales usually sparks a discussion about book promotion and marketing methods. However, there are some different platforms you could try that could potentially increase sales and boost your income at the same time. Here are some Amazon publishing platforms that could broaden your book’s audience.   Kindle Singles Kindle Singles are ideal for self-publishing short stories or novellas. Your story won’t automatically be published, as it would with KDP. Instead, you need to submit your original, unpublished short story to Kindle Singles for consideration. Amazon states that the minimum accepted word count is 2,500 words, but they prefer to see longer word counts between 5,000 and 10,000 words in their Singles range. Kindle Singles should be priced between 0.99c and $4.99. Amazon pay 70% royalty for Kindle Singles, even if your Single is priced below $2.99. You can learn more about Kindle Singles here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html   Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) The KDP platform gives you the freedom to publish your own books and take control of your own royalties. You simply upload your book files and cover graphic. Choose your own price for your books and write a brief description or blurb. Press submit and your book should be available for sale in the Kindle eBookstore in around 24-48 hours. Technically, the minimum word count Amazon will accept for a novel into Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is 2,500. You can set your own price for your books in the Kindle eBookstore. Books priced between $0.99c and $2.98 earn 30% royalty on sales. Books priced over $2.99 will earn 70% royalty on sales. You can learn more about Kindle Direct Publishing here: https://kdp.amazon.com/   KDP Select If you enroll your ebook into the KDP Select program, it will automatically be included in the KU/KOLL programs. In order to qualify for the KDP Select program your book must be available exclusively through Amazon and can’t be distributed digitally anywhere else. Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a subscription program for readers that allows them to read as many books as they want during the subscription period. That’s great for voracious readers who devour several books each week. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) allows people who own Kindle readers to borrow one book per month with no due date. Payment is based on the number of pages read. It’s difficult to estimate how much you’re paid per page read, but it’s approximately between $0.005 and $0.015 per page read. You can learn more about KDP Select here: https://kdp.amazon.com/select   Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) You can turn your book into an audio book with Audiobook...

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Getting Out of the 30% Tax Withholding for Non-US Amazon Kindle Authors
Mar12

Getting Out of the 30% Tax Withholding for Non-US Amazon Kindle Authors

    One of the best things about publishing your books with Amazon Kindle is that almost anyone can do it from anywhere in the world. This is great for international authors outside the US who have always wanted to expand their audience base. Unfortunately, Amazon makes non-US authors fill in a ‘tax questionnaire’ before you’re able to publish your first book. If you’ve filled in the quick and easy online form, you’ll already know that authors outside of the US are subjected to a 30% tax withholding. What this means is for every dollar you earn from Amazon Kindle sales, Amazon will withhold 30% to be reported to the IRS. The remaining 70% of your royalty earnings are paid to you via check. If it wasn’t bad enough that non-US authors get the joy of paying exorbitant foreign exchange rates and currency exchange bank fees on a check drawn in US dollars, we also have the issue of losing 30% of our income on withholding. (another post on reducing your foreign exchange rates and fees coming soon…) What you may not realize is that it’s possible to get out of paying that 30% withholding at all – but only if you set up your Amazon account the right way. Avoid Paying the 30% Withholding for Non-US Authors with an EIN When you fill out your tax questionnaire with Amazon, you may be asked to fill in your ITIN (Individual Taxation Identification Number), if you have one. If you don’t, you can opt to fill in your tax file number for wherever you do report your taxes. Even if you DO have an ITIN, you are still required to pay the 30% withholding. However, what they DON’T tell you is that non-US authors with an EIN (Employer Identification Number) aren’t subjected to the same withholding rules. Awesome! Most authors are their own bosses and the IRS concedes that sole traders from most countries are typically self-employed small business owners. As a business owner, you’re potentially an employer, so you definitely need an EIN. If you’re in Australia and you’ve registered an ABN (Australian Business Number), you’re in business, which makes you potentially an employer, so you qualify for your EIN right away. You can apply for your EIN via the IRS website here: https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp Remember, you must complete your session in one sitting. If your session is inactive for more than 15 minutes, you’ll be logged out. As the site doesn’t save your personal information, you’ll need to start over. Once you’ve completed the form, you can download the PDF file that shows your EIN and print the confirmation...

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Can Anyone Achieve Self-Publishing Success on Amazon Kindle?
Nov28

Can Anyone Achieve Self-Publishing Success on Amazon Kindle?

    About 2 years ago a friend of mine announced she was going to self-publish some of her unpublished works on the Amazon Kindle platform. After all, she figured there were lots and lots of big success stories out there about writers who suddenly made huge incomes seemingly overnight on the self-publishing platform. She’d read about various success stories, such as unknown writers like Amanda Hocking churning $2.5 million in sales, or writers like EL James gaining monster six-figure advances for print-publishing deals, along with selling the movie rights. Of course, these are big-name success stories. How about some smaller ones? Have you heard about Mishka Shubaly, who earned an estimated $129,544 in 12 months by selling huge numbers of Amazon Singles (novella-length e-books)? No? What about John Locke? He’s the very first self-published writer to sell 1 million Kindle e-books, and he did it in just 5 months. He sold thriller novels, to be precise. How about Stephen Leather earning an approximate £11,000 per month (around $17,000 US) in royalties from Amazon ebook sales? With success stories like that abounding all over the internet, it’s no wonder so many people decide to give it a shot. So my friend dived in at the deep end. Her results astounded me. Six weeks later – after lots of research, writing and planning – I dived right in alongside her. My own results were jaw-droppingly awesome. How is it possible for a relatively unknown writer to make so much money so quickly on the Amazon Kindle Publishing platform? And can any writer get the same results? Let’s take a look at the real numbers, shall we? Average Earnings for Self-Published Authors on Amazon Kindle According to a comprehensive survey conducted by the Guardian, the average income for a self-published Amazon Kindle author is approximately $10,000 USD per year. A whopping 75% of Amazon Kindle royalty earnings goes to just 10% of authors overall. If you break down the math and take into account those few wildly successful high-earning authors, you see that around 50% of Amazon’s self-published authors earn less than $500 per year. There were also certain fiction genres that fared much better than others. Writers who focus on the romance and erotica genres tend to earn around 170% more than writers focused in the speculative fiction genres, such as fantasy and science fiction. So, does an unknown author really have a shot at earning big bucks by self-publishing on Amazon Kindle? Is there really a way to defy the odds and lure thousands of eager readers into buying your books? Breaking Out of the Average Ranks Believe it...

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Writing a Synopsis – Condensing Your Novel
Nov23

Writing a Synopsis – Condensing Your Novel

  Writing a synopsis is one of the most daunting chores a writer must face. After spending months lovingly crafting a complex plot, realizing and nurturing a cast of characters and painstakingly selecting the right prose for descriptions, how do you then summarize your masterpiece in just 2 or 3 pages? There is simply too much information in a 400 page novel to condense into a brief blurb. How will an editor ever catch all the nuances and clues you’ve woven into your plot? And what if he misses the connection between your hero and your villain? Won’t the ending seem contrived if all the by-plays aren’t included? The great temptation for many writers is the urge to explain the connection between characters and events, just to be sure the editor can’t miss the by-plays. Unfortunately, doing this will make an editor wonder what’s left to read in your manuscript, and so probably won’t request to see it. Here are some tips for keeping your synopsis short and focused, and keep an editor interested at the same time. Format Write your synopsis in the same format you would use for your manuscript. Use black type on clean white paper. Double-space your work. Set your margins for one inch (about 2.5 cms) around ALL sides of the text. Do not right-justify your text – the lines on the right-hand side of the page should be staggered. Use a standard font, like Courier or Times New Roman. Serif fonts allocate the same amount of space for the letter ‘i’ as they do for the letter ‘m’. Don’t be tempted to use the prettier options on your word processor. Put a header on every page. Your book title goes in the upper left corner. Your last name (or your pseudonym’s last name) and page number go in the upper right corner. Start with a bang! All writers fret over the perfect opening line to their novel. Do the same for your synopsis. The rest of the synopsis will need to be precise and tightly written, so use the opening sentence to set up a strong hook. Remember, an editor has hundreds of submissions to go through every day. Make sure yours doesn’t let his attention wander with an opening that reads: “John was 34 with brown eyes and blonde hair.” BORING! Create a hook to lure the editor into reading further into your storyline. Open with a bold, evocative sequence that forces the reader to want to continue. Key Plot Points After your spectacular ‘hook’ opening, the big challenge is to outline the basics of your novel’s plot, without going into too...

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